Wide or Skinny tires on the PUP?

Discussion in 'Taking Your Camper Off Road' started by ccarley, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. ccarley

    ccarley Member

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    Pretty straightforward question I have here, and it's been a difficult thing to search for. I'm going to be ordering a set of new wheels and tires for my little Starcraft, but which will be better? Tall & skinny, or a little shorter & wider? I know that taller will be better for long trips down the hiway, but when we hit the dirt, would wider be better?

    Tall & Skinny:
    http://www.etrailer.com/Tires-and-Wheels/Kenda/AM30620.html
    Shorter but wider:
    http://www.etrailer.com/Tires-and-Wheels/Kenda/AM3H290.html

    Thanks,
    Clay
     
  2. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    yea wider is better if you have to tow it out of your yard or campsite that just got muddy. Skinny tires scares me.
     
  3. ccarley

    ccarley Member

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    The skinny tires do look kind of scary too, but the tires I have now really look scary!

    [​IMG]

    They are so tiny they feel like toys. In any case, I'm leaning more towards wider now; I expect to be taking this unit on some unimproved dirt roads, and may possibly be muddy. Or, there is the potential for sandy beach type areas as well...

    Not sure how long etrailer will have free shipping (is the countdown a gimmick to get you to buy now?), but 2 mounted tires for just over $100 seems like a decent deal.

    Thanks,
    Clay
     
  4. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    It looks great on the right sized camper...
     
  5. mickaqua

    mickaqua Member

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    Call ET for some good advice. :)
     
  6. Kawartha-Camper

    Kawartha-Camper New Member

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    Definitely interested in those wider tires now
     
  7. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Here is my take ........
    The 480-12" has a diameter of 20.5" and a capacity of 990lbs @90psi
    The 215/60-8 has a diameter of 18.3 and a capacity of 935lbs @50psi

    Don't let the 8" wheel fool you..... the 215/60-8 Tires hold a lot of air, which hold up the trailer.
    Either tire will do the job. The trailer would ride better with the fat tire.

    On my old Jayco I went from a 480-8 to a 480-12 now that was a lot taller tire comb.
     
  8. ccarley

    ccarley Member

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    Thanks for the info. It sounds like the wide tires are the way to go, as long as they fit... it looks like they should, and I'm pretty sure I've seen some other Starcraft owners with the same tire/wheel combo around here.

    Thanks!
    Clay
     
  9. ccarley

    ccarley Member

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    Wide tires ordered [:D]

    Thanks everyone!
    Clay
     
  10. ccarley

    ccarley Member

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    Just to keep everyone up to date, as it was hard for me to find info in the past.

    I received the new wheels & tires yesterday, etrailer.com is pretty cool. I was surprised to find a giant box with the tires in it on my deck when I got home from work! In the past, when I have ordered tires, the shipper has just slapped a label on the tire itself...

    In any case, I went to test fit one of them, and it is a smidge too wide. The rubber hits the trailing arm on my tor-flex axle when the wheel is right at the hub face. No big deal, I ordered some wheel spacers; I figure 1/2 inch extra should be just right.

    The trailer, just for additional info, is a Starcraft Starlite 17. The original wheel/tire combo was a 5.70-8, and the new tires are indeed the 215/60-8.

    [​IMG]

    The spacers should be here next week, and I'll see how they fit then! Definitely no problem with the height; just the width of these tires. During the test fitting, I did note that they fit inside the wheel well completely right now. After the spacers, well hopefully they won't stick out too much but I didn't measure that yet. Worst case, I suppose I could find some wider flares :)

    Clay
     
  11. ccarley

    ccarley Member

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    I finally got the spacers, and the tires mounted up (with the help of my daughter) this evening. Thanks too to the lovely weather we are having here in Nor-Cal...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Looks pretty good and should really help keep the trailer stable on the road and off. Those tires are close to 3 times wider!

    Clay
     
  12. Newt

    Newt New Member

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    They look awesome! You'll have to let us know how they ride (on and off road).
     
  13. niagarafam

    niagarafam Active Member

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    I have wondered about wider tires. Is it just a matter of making sure you have clearance for them, or are there other things to consider before installing them?
     
  14. ccarley

    ccarley Member

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    Clearance is a big concern, but another concern which is hard to check for is clearance when the suspension is under compression on bumpy roads. I doubt that the tor-flex axle has as much uptravel as I have clearance for, but we mostly adjusted the height of the trailer to be towed behind my (rather large) Suburban.

    If everything goes well, we'll be able to take this on a short off-road trip in April! Keeping my fingers crossed on that trip, but my Suburban still needs some work as well. Totally worth it, though!

    Clay
     
  15. durhamcamper

    durhamcamper Active Member

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    With shorter tires, the wheels would be turning faster when towing. This means the bearings would also be turning faster......is this something to be concerned about as far as wear/heat etc or am I over thinking it? Also, tongue height to tow vehicle changes so you will need a longer drop tongue. And if the tires turn more, how much faster will they wear out?
    I like the look, and easier to inflate to 50 lbs etc though. Makes me go hmmmm.
     
  16. ccarley

    ccarley Member

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    True, the short tires cause the bearings to turn fast. In this case, though, the original tires were actually about 1/2" shorter. I'm slowing them down marginally with these new tires, although probably not enough to make a difference. The originals were 5.70X8, similar height, but about 1/3 the width!

    In my Suburban I carry a high volume air compressor, so that will make airing down/up very easy as well. The nice thing (I suppose) is that if I do have a tire issue, the stock spare (well... now I have 3 spares!) will still work.

    Clay
     
  17. inthedirt

    inthedirt Active Member

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    I've run those skinny hockey-puck tires on Harbor Freight trailers for years and plenty of miles without issue. Keep your bearings well-lubed and your air pressures up and you shouldn't have many issues.
     
  18. rwilliek

    rwilliek New Member

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    My previous camper had the skinny high pressure tires on it, and that thing was all over the road - a small bump would send the camper flying.

    I have a heavier camper on wide tires and it pulls like a dream. I just ordered wide tires myself.
     

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